“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16)
Do you believe what Paul told Timothy? If you do, it is very important that you don’t avoid the Old Testament as some do. In the Old Testament, there are golden nuggets of truth so inspirational that the apostles quoted them frequently. By the way, Paul was referring to what we call the Old Testament when he says, “all scripture.” We should hold the same level of respect of the Old Testament as the New Testament and we will learn so much about God’s plan for mankind.
If you really want to understand what Jesus Christ has done and is going to do, you should study the Old Testament. If you doubt this, read Luke chapter 24. In this chapter Jesus appears to two of His disciples and talks with them about prophecy. Verse 27 reads, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Jesus validated His role by going to the Old Testament. So, if the Lord Jesus Christ used them, then those verses should be important to us.
Jacob the Prophet?
Did you know that Jacob the son of Isaac gave a series of prophetic messages to his sons?
“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” (Gen. 49:1)
Obviously, Jacob was given advanced knowledge of the things to come. This is consistent with how God works. God also gave Abraham advanced knowledge of what would befall his descendants while they were in Egypt (Gen. 15:12-14). According to Amos 3:6-7, God doesn’t do anything without revealing it first to His prophets. In addition, God is the only one who can declare the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). Consequently, Jacob would be considered a prophet since God chose to reveal the end times to him.
The Prophecy Concerning Shiloh
At this point, it is important to look at what Jacob prophesied through the revelation of God. Every student of the Bible should study Genesis chapter 49. There are some interesting things that can be found. The purpose of this study is to focus on verse 10 which reads, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
There are four parts to this prophecy. They are 1) a ruler (or rulership) shall not depart from Judah, 2) a lawgiver will not depart from between the feet of Judah, 3) someone referred to as Shiloh is coming, and 4) the people will be gathered unto this Shiloh. Though very important, parts one and two of this prophecy are pretty much self-explanatory. For this reason, we will not explore these particular elements in this study.
In examining the parts referring to someone called Shiloh, we stumble upon a bit of a mystery. Who is Shiloh? How can we determine who he is? The answers to these questions require us to look into “the gathering of the people.”
The Gathering of the People
“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.” (Isa. 56:1)
Chapter 56 of the book of Isaiah describes an awe-inspiring scene of God’s mercy on mankind. Take some time to read the entire chapter. The first half of the chapter should motivate you to pray that God’s kingdom come as Jesus instructed us in Luke 11:2. Remember, Jesus preached that we repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matt. 4:17). The kingdom of God is a very real thing, not just something placed in our hearts (more on this in future writings). We must let prophecies such as this one in Isaiah stir us to repentance and reverence of God. Read the following verses:
“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” (Isa. 56:7-9)
Verses 2-6 describe people (Israelite and Gentile) who follow the will of God. God tells us through the prophet Isaiah that these are the type of people He will bring unto His holy mountain. God fully intends to reward those who seek His way.
Look at the following prophecy in the book of Ezekiel:
“As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezek. 20:33-38)
According to this prophecy, God will gather Israel out of the countries. Despite what many teach, this prophecy has not been fulfilled in the re-establishment of Israel. A study of the history of Israel, would prove that the nation of Israel consisted of twelve tribes which later became thirteen tribes when they entered into Egypt. These thirteen tribes split into two nations, the house of Israel (10 tribes) and the house of Judah (3 tribes), after the reign of king Solomon. Read 1 Kings 12 for the details. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah went into captivity. Israel was enslaved by Assyria (2 Kings 18:9-12) and Judah was taken captive by Babylon (2 Kings 25). The house of Judah was allowed to return to the land after 70 years (Jer. 25 and Dan. 9:2). This is by no means an exhaustive look at Israelite history. The purpose of going over this history is to show you that there are 10 tribes not yet gathered back to the land promised to their fathers for a perpetual inheritance.
Ezekiel chapter 20 is discussing this very concept. Israel will be gathered back to the land of Canaan where God will plead with them “face to face.” This prophecy is further validated by Ezek. 34:11-15. These prophecies and many others show that God will establish a new government on earth after a chaotic period known as the Great Tribulation.
The Coming King and Kingdom
Many fail to except what the Bible actually says about future events. Contrary to popular belief, the saved are not whisked away to heaven while the world is left to rot in destruction. In fact, the kingdom of God will be established on earth and a remnant of humanity will be gathered unto the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Remember, Jesus tells Pilate that He was born to be king (John 18:37) which is the same thing the angel Gabriel told Mary (Luke 1:30-33). Jesus also preached that His kingdom was at hand (Mark 1:15). This kingdom is described throughout the Old Testament.
Read Isaiah chapter 11. In this chapter, Isaiah describes the establishment of God’s kingdom and government. Animals will be at peace, Israel will be gathered back to its land, and the Lord Jesus Christ shall rule as written in verses 1-4. Verse 10 reads, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” The gentiles will seek the root of Jesse (Jesus or Shiloh). We can know these prophecies are referring to Jesus Christ because no one else is said to be given the kingdom of the age to come. Even Jesus says, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” (John 5:22) Read through Isa. 11:1-4. It is talking about a coming Judge that will gather Israel and the Gentiles will seek Him. This is why Paul explains we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10).
There are too many prophecies concerning the coming kingdom and the gathering of the people to include in this one study. I recommend reading the following: Isa. 66, Isa. 19, Ezek. 39, Zeph. 2-3, Zech. 8-9, and Zech. 14. Though these chapters include strong correction, they include verses that show God will regather Israel and extend His mercy to the heathen.
There is a kingdom coming!!! The Lord Jesus Christ will reign as king and the saints will rule by His side. This kingdom will bring peace to the world after God pours out His wrath on this world for going the way of satan. Jacob was allowed to see that Jesus Christ will reign on earth and gather the remnant of mankind unto Himself. This time is ahead of us. This is the true gospel. Repent you for the kingdom of God is at hand!!!